Forgive me if all this is common knowledge but I'm away rather a lot these days. So, I read that the LibDems are going to block the boundary changes and reduction in number of MPs; but hang on, wasn't that in the Coalition agreement ? Oh yes, but the LibDems have decided that, having lost Lords Reform (and AV etc etc), they are free to shoot down the boundary changes. It's all a bit theological.
So I ask Someone Who Knows about these things, and the story goes as follows:
- The LibDems (not Labour) have the most to lose from boundary changes and were never, ever going to support them
- Nor will the Nats; nor (obviously) Labour
- So they fall
- What's more, they won't even be put to a vote to show the world what complete 4-letter men the LibDems are, because - haha! - the Nats will support it for England but defeat it in Scotland and Wales (it would be separate votes), making their over-representation even greater !
- If the Tories takes this treachery as a pretext to scrap the coalition, under the new '5-year Parliament' rules Lab and LibDem have 14 days to come up with a new coalition, which they surely will do
Now, to basics: back in 2010, was there a more critical issue for the Tories to nail ? I can't think of anything: this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fix our outrageous boundary system (forget the reduction in number of MPs), a previous batch of Tories having culpably failed to do it throughout the whole of the 1979-97 period (due to outstanding Labour tactics on the Boundary Commission).
So, knowing (as they must have - mustn't they ..?) the content of bullet #1 above, didn't they realise this had to be structured into the Coalition in such a way as to be proof against LibDem backsliding ?
No ? Then away with them. I feel ill.